A mug shot, also commonly spelled as one word “mugshot”, arrest photos or police booking photograph, is a photographic portrait taken after an individual is arrested by law enforcement. The purpose of taking a mug shot is to allow law enforcement personnel to have a photographic record of the arrested individual to allow for identification by victims and police investigators.
Most mugshot photos consist two parts, which include a front-view photo and a side-view photo (also called a profile shot). The term mug shot is originally derived from the word “mug”, which is an English slang term for a human face. Use of the word dates all the way back to the 18th century. The word mug was very popular in mafia-style movies, where unattractive people were often referred to as having an “ugly mug”.
Prior to modern advancements in computer technology and image processing, an accused person was required to physically hold a card in front of them that showed their name, the current date, and other information relative to the individual and/or the precinct in which they were arrested. Digital photography is now used in the mugshot and booking process, and the accused individual does not have to hold the card while the actual photo is taken. The additional information is added to the photos digitally.
After the individual’s picture is taken by the law enforcement officer or processing clerk, the digital photograph is then linked to a law enforcement database that contains the identifying information pertinent to the individual and the arrest. This allows law enforcement to quickly pull up a photo of the individual whenever needed.
Federal booking photographs and mug shots are entered into the public domain in the United States, and can be obtained by anyone under the Freedom of Information Act. In certain special cases, the mugshot for the arrested individual is sealed along with the arrest record.
Famous Celebrity Mug Shot Pictures
Celebrity arrest photos are by far the most popular type with online searchers. Many movie stars are often arrested in the midst of alcohol or drug abuse binges, and somehow manage to take some pretty surprising and hilarious photos. Following are some of the more famous celebrity mug shots. In some situations, celebrities were arrested multiple times, so there are photos of each arrest.
New celeb mugs are being added all the time, so be sure to check back for updates. If its one thing celebs know, it is how to get arrested and how to take a great photo.